Hakugei: The Legend of the Moby Dick Vol. 1: Ahab Awaits
Aaron H. Bynum · From fps #8 · June 29, 2006 | This is the story of the great white demon. In an age where humanity has already met and surpassed what was thought to have been the peak era of technological integration, it isn't any surprise that by 4699, people are restless. In the future, intergalactic space travel is the norm and the Federation Police are left breathing down the neck of anyone who considers disobedience an option. But for many people, the only way to be free is to live outside of the law altogether. For some this freedom comes naturally, others circumstantially; and for Captain Ahab and his crew of whale hunters, a complicated mixture of both.

The backdrop of Hakugei revolves around the fact that as space travel became more common over the years, so did the prevalence of abandoned or wrecked spaceships that continuously floated on through the black nothingness. These lifeless, decaying pots of steel came to be known as whales, and the scavengers/treasure hunters who sought to plunder them, whalers. A sort of freelance, do-what-you-want entrepreneurship, whaling is both an incredibly dangerous and miraculously adventurous pursuit.

Hakugei: The Legend of the Moby Dick Vol. 1: Ahab Awaits
Directed by Osamu Dezaki
Animation Production by Tezuka Productions
Produced by Image K and Sony Music Entertainment
Distributed by ADV Films, 2006
Originally broadcast in Japan in 1997
125 minutes

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Satisfied with his accomplishments of the past decade as a scavenger of space, Captain Ahab Ishmal Ali has become quite complacent with his position in the criminal underworld. And as a result, when a scruffy-looking little stowaway calling himself Lucky Luck requests Ahab's skill to dispose of a familiar sounding mechanical beast that looms over his planet, Ahab gets a little fire in his eyes. "Moby Dick" is a giant weapon designed by the Federation Police, and is an unfeeling, synthetic destroyer of life. As akin to Melville's classic tale, the largest issue of concern isn't saving a planet, it is whether Ahab is capable of quelling his obsession.

Want to read the rest of this review?

You'll find it and many other articles in the June 2006 issue of fps, available for only $1.49 US.
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